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GAME, SET AND MATCH BARTOLI! Ace number 10 from Bartoli in tying up the victory. Azarenka has given up the ghost some time ago. Three match points for Bartoli. She throws in a double fault - her 12th of the match - on her way to blowing a couple of them, but gets the job done in the end. A few boos for Azarenka, who be back to face Vera Zvonareva in the semi-finals tomorrow.
A love service game from Azarenka forces Bartoli to serve it out. Bartoli only needs to get her first serve in and put the ball wide of her opponent to win the match. Will be interesting to see if she gets the job done against an opponent who is barely interested.
The extra $115,000 Azarenka could win from this match is clearly not of great concern. Bartoli quick to move 40-0 ahead. Bartoli up to 11 double faults, but she claws out another game on serve. Needs one more for $165,000 for the evening's work.
Azarenka squanders a 40-0 lead, but gets over the winning line from deuce. She is not overly pleased to have won that game. Bartoli pumped up to win this match. Whether she does or not, may be down to Azarenka.
Azarenka looking completely disillusioned. She is clearly not happy with the amount of time Bartoli is taking between points, but she is not trying either. One ball flew past the Belrusian without her trying to retrieve it. The sooner this match is completed, the better for both players. A 4-2 lead for Bartoli.
Azarenka throws down an ace to close to 3-2 behind. Bartoli has the break in the bag, and is surely going to win this match unless Azarenka can come up with something extra which seems unlikely. Istanbul crowd well aware that this is a dead rubber, but are trying to encourage both players.
Bartoli moves 3-1 clear with another hold. She is halfway to victory in this contest. Azarenka continues to look like she is only 70 percent there. She is hitting some balls, and missing other balls. Will surely be a different figure in the semi-finals.
Azarenka holds aided by an ace in the final point of the game. She is a break down and her body language is not overly convincing. She is not going the extra mile, let us say, to track down any balls not in her hitting zone.
A love game from Bartoli as she moves two games to the good early on in this second set. Now 10.40pm in Istanbul. Not sure Azarenka is too concerned about losing this match. Not too much emotion on her side of the net as Bartoil continues to scamper around the court hitting every ball.
BREAK TO BARTOLI! Bartoli with the bit firmly between her teeth now as she breaks in the opening game of this set. Not much resistance at the moment from Azarenka.
SET TO BARTOLI! She seals the set with ace number six. Fine response from the French woman to level up. Might be the only match she plays at this tournament, but she looks as if she is on her way to winning it. Azarenka has certainly dropped her levels.
We revisit the same situation as the first set. Bartoli with 27 unforced errors, Azarenka with 26 of her own. A solid service game from Azarenka but Bartoli is in the driving seat as she prepares to serve for the second set.
Bartoli on the cusp of forcing this match to a deciding set with a decent service game at the right time. Azarenka will need to find a few gears otherwise she is going to a third set, which is not exactly the ideal preparation for her semi-final against Vera Zvonareva on Saturday.
BREAK TO BARTOLI! A lovely lob by Azarenka to level at 30-30 before she hands her opponent a break point with a loose forehand that flies wide. A double fault by the Belarusian is enough to seal the deal in Bartoli's favour. She now leads 4-3 with a break.
Bartoli moving around again trying to get herself pumped up after dropping only one point in holding serve. This set very much in the balance. Azarenka not exactly looking overly concerned.
Azarenka was staring down the barrel, but hits back from being two break points down to move ahead by the odd game in five. Games on serve, but Bartoli has recovered well after that collapse in the first set.
Another untimely double fault from Bartoli - her seventh of the match - leaves the French player in a spot of bother. Azarenka misses a tricky volley to move 3-1 ahead at the net before Azarenka knocks the ball long from the back of the court. Bartoli then thumps a fine backhand down the court to level at 2-2.
BREAK TO BARTOLI! Azarenka had opportunities to open up a 3-0 lead in a game that ran for some time, but Bartoli is not slipping quietly into the night as she profits from a slip in Azarenka's play to break back. She is down 1-2 in the second set, but games are back on serve.
BREAK TO AZARENKA! A sixth straight game for Azarenka. Just has too much class and firepower for Bartoli, who drills a shot into the net when it seemed as easy to deliver a winner after falling three break points down. Problems now for Bartoli.
Azarenka cutting a figure of some calm at one side of the net, Bartoli jumping around but making little inroads into the game of the third seed. All heading the way of Azarenka unless Bartoli can dig out something or other. Bartoli to serve 0-1 down.
SET TO AZARENKA! The Belarusian hits back from 0-4 down and 3-5 down to clinch the opening set on the second set point. A fine response from Azarenka despite Bartoli beginning to misfire. Looks the classier player of the two. Problems for Bartoli, who has let it slip away after starting so brightly.
She was 4-0 down and two set points down, but an ace finishes off a tough game in some style as Azarenka survives to edge ahead by the odd game in 11. Suddenly, the pressure is really on Bartoli to discover some form otherwise she is going to fall a set behind.
BREAK TO AZARENKA! Bartoli with two set points. Azarenka denies Bartoli on the first one before a double fault sees the score return to deuce. Bartoli's service game beginning to collaspe at the key moment as Azarenka hits back to level at 5-5. A poor service game from the French woman. Tide beginning to turn in this match.
A good and a timely hold by Azarenka that keeps Bartoli honest. She will need to serve out for the first set with Azarenka not going to slip quietly into the night before a crowd of 11,000 in Istanbul.
A better game from Bartoli with the new balls as she holds serve with some ease before going through her usual routine of swiping the racket through the air with some gusto. Was given a pep talk by her father, and it seems to have worked. Azarenka serves to stay in the set.
A love service game from Azarenka, who is suddenly right in the mood for a match it seems. Bartoli still with the one break, but the power on her shot-making has not been as potent as earlier in proceedings. Bartoli serving with a 4-3 advantage.
BREAK TO AZARENKA! A lot more like it from Azarenka, who suddenly discovers the depth and potency of shot that has worked so well this week. Bartoli with a 4-2 lead as Azarenka prepares to serve. Bartoli has now thrown in three double faults.
Azarenka stops the bleeding with a couple of well-placed winners. Not sure how much hunger there is for the Belarusian player to want to go three sets in a match that is meaningless in the general context of happenings. Bartoli will happily accept the chance of three sets if she can win. Bartoli to serve 4-1 and two breaks up.
All going the way of Bartoli, and then some. She is hitting the ball to the corners, and Azarenka is not really wanting to get crocked ahead of a semi-final tomorrow. The winner will pick up $165,000 for this match so well worth the French woman's trouble.
BREAK TO BARTOLI! Bartoil is looking the fresher and more motivated of the two women. Azarenka perhaps finding it difficult to focus at this time of the evening. Struggling to find any sort of momentum as she falls two breaks behind early on. Bartoli serving with the double break.
Bartoli cements the break with a decent enough service game. Like Kvitova before her, a slowish start by the Belarussian Azarenka, who has been so impressive so far this week. Azarenka remember will face Vera Zvonareva in the second semi-final tomorrow.
BREAK TO BARTOLI! Quite an introduction to the tournament for the French player, who breaks in the opening game for a 1-0 lead. Certainly a confident start by the underdog, who is hopping around the baseline in her usual animated style.
Azarenka to serve in the opening game of the match.
Bartoli replaces Maria Sharapova, who withdrew from the Championships with a left ankle sprain after two defeats. She cannot qualify for the semi-finals, but can pick up over $100,000 for winning this match. Worth the effort.
Azarenka qualified for SF after defeating Li Na on Thursday and will finish top of the White Group, advancing to play the runner-up in the Red group in Saturday’s semi-finals.
Good evening and welcome to LIVE coverage of the closing match of the round-robin stage between Marion Bartoli and Victoria Azarenka. A dead rubber in the general landscape of this tournament, but Azarenka is looking to extend her winning record this week having claimed two wins in her opening two matches.
|Marion Bartoli||Victoria Azarenka|
|Le Puy-en-Velay||Place of birth||Minsk|
|1.70 m||Height||1.83 m|
|63 kg||Weight||66 kg|